Uber's future depends on self-driving cars | Md.'s Purple Line project at a tipping point | Nissan testing self-driving cars for ride-hailing service
June 23, 2017
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Uber's future depends on self-driving cars
Uber's future depends on self-driving cars
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Uber board director Bill Gurley is stepping down, but the longer-term pressing business need is to develop autonomous-vehicle technology that can expand Uber's reach and justify its valuation. "By tapping into the $10 trillion that people spend on new and used cars each year, Uber could become more valuable than Google or Facebook, which have become two of the world's ten most valuable companies by disrupting the much smaller, $500 billion-a-year advertising business," Peter Burrows writes.
MIT Technology Review online (free registration) (6/22),  The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (6/21) 
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Rails, Roads & Vehicles
Md.'s Purple Line project at a tipping point
Officials in Maryland have asked an appeals court to make an "emergency" ruling to allow construction of the Purple Line light rail to start after a lower court ruled in favor of the project's opponents. Construction was scheduled to start last year, but work can't begin until an environmental study is approved by the courts.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (6/22) 
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Nissan testing self-driving cars for ride-hailing service
Ogi Redzic, head of Nissan-Renault's Connected Vehicles and Mobility Services division, said the joint effort is testing autonomous vehicles for use when it rolls out self-driving ride-hailing and ride-sharing services. The services probably won't launch before 2020, he said.
Reuters (6/22) 
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Travel Tech
ArterisIP CEO discusses auto electronics
ArterisIP Chairman and CEO K. Charles Janac discusses contemporary issues in automotive electronics and the challenges of designing internet-connected cars in this interview. "These vehicles will be able to obtain downloads from the cloud, but they also will have full-time connection to the cloud for mapping and entertainment," he notes.
Semiconductor Engineering (6/22) 
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Autonomous vehicle testing ground to be built in Mich.
The American Center for Mobility is building a $110 million testing ground for autonomous and connected vehicles in Michigan's Ypsilanti Township. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed this year; it will include a 2.5-mile loop and a tunnel.
Traffic Technology Today (U.K.) (6/22) 
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Going Green
UK plans to pump more than $1B into driverless, electric technology
The United Kingdom will invest upwards of $1 billion in research and recharging infrastructure for driverless and zero-emission vehicles. Queen Elizabeth II said Wednesday the investment will make the country a leader in the EV industry and improve the UK economy as it exits the European Union.
Bloomberg (6/21) 
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Policy
Wis. Republicans disagree on road funding amounts
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker proposed borrowing $500 million to help improve the state's infrastructure, but Republicans in the state Senate want to up that to $850 million. However, there's a stalemate because those in the Assembly say that number is a non-starter.
WXOW-TV (La Crosse, Wis.)/The Associated Press (6/21),  Wisconsin Public Radio (6/21) 
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US looks to regulate autonomous vehicle development
Technology related to autonomous cars is making speedy advances, but legislation governing how they should be developed and used has been so slow to arrive that states have started making their own rules. Congress is attempting to address the issue with legislation that would "prevent conflicting laws and rules from stifling this new technology."
The Hill (6/22) 
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ITS America News
City of Chicago releases Vision Zero Plan
On June 12, Mayor Rahm Emanuel released Chicago's Vision Zero Plan, with the goal of reducing roadway crashes and ultimately eliminating traffic deaths over the next decade.

The ambitious plan, which involves 11 city departments, aims to reduce deaths from traffic crashes by 20% and serious injuries by 35% by 2020. The final goal is to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries in Chicago by 2026. Read more.

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